You Don't Have to Use the Hotel AV Company!
Although many of our clients believed that were required to use the venue in-house AV Company, it is simply not the case. The information provided here explains why using an outside AV Company is often a better choice than using the venue or hotel AV Company.
You can save over 50% by bringing in your own audio visual provider.
With corporate budgets tightening, audio visual budgets have been targeted for savings. Hotel AV contracts limit competition resulting in poorer service and less value than a local outside company can provide.
Why do venues want their customers to use the in-house AV company?
Typically, hotels will make a commission when booking AV services through a company they have contracted with. If you bring in your own service provider, they will not receive the incentive pay. However, they are willing to let that money go if it means contracting your event for the food, beverage, meeting rooms, hotel rooms, etc. so removing the clause for the AV provider is usually easy to do. It’s also a good idea so you can entertain outside quotes to drive down in-house costs regardless of which provider you select.
Dealing with an outside AV provider makes you their top priority.
Venue AV service providers are usually responsible for multiple events happening simultaneously. This means you don’t get their full attention if they need to juggle many events at the same time. With an outside team dedicated to supporting your event, you will receive superior service.
You are paying the bill, so you should be able to select who you work with.
Ultimately, your goal is to manage a successful event that delivers a clear message to your audience. The audio visual component is paramount to ensuring your message is delivered the way you envisioned it. Developing a relationship with a company that shares your vision can make your job that much easier, stress free and ensure that all your events are equally successful.
How can I protect my right to work with my choice of AV service providers?
Make sure you read the fine print of the contract before signing. Some venues may try to charge a fee for using an outside provider, but they can not limit your right to bring in the company of your choice to provide audio visual needs. A venue cannot prohibit you from bringing in equipment or support personnel provided it is within local safety standards laws and you are not modifying their utilities or mounting equipment on walls or ceilings. Make sure to remove any clause from the contract that limits your choice of service providers. The following is suggested language to add to the contract which is taken from the Exhibition Services & Contractors Association website: Position Paper – Freedom of Choice
Buyer will not accept or agree to any proposal or contract containing conditions, terms, or clauses which unreasonably restrict our choice of third party suppliers for our event(s) at any meeting facility, whether such conditions are expressly stated in the proposal or contract, or whether they are contained in the general operating policies of the facility, be they published or unpublished. Furthermore, Buyer will not accept or agree to any fees, surcharges, or penalties of any type charged by a meeting facility that are in any way based on or tied to our choice of third party suppliers, whether such fees are expressly stated in the proposal or contract, or whether they are contained in the general operating policies of the facility, be they published or unpublished. This “Buyer’s rights regarding third party suppliers” clause shall be appended to all contracts that are executed by Buyer, and if it is determined that this clause is in conflict with any other clause, portion of any contract, or any general operating policy of the facility, then this “Buyer’s rights regarding third party suppliers” clause shall be deemed to take precedence over the other item(s) with which it is determined to be in conflict, unless specifically agreed otherwise.